Círculo de Cuidado (Circle of Care)

The University of Saint Mary is launching the new Círculo de Cuidado (Circle of Care) scholarship program aimed at benefiting both an underserved prospective student population and a community with pressing health care needs.

As part of the program, qualified Hispanic and Latino prospective nursing students from Wyandotte County can receive scholarships and living stipends to pursue a nursing degree at USM.



Contact Denise Billaci, Pre-Licensure Program Coordinator, for more information and next steps at Denise.Billaci@stmary.edu or 913-758-4381.


USM’s Círculo de Cuidado program is funded in part by a $1 million federal grant from the Nursing Workforce Diversity initiative of the federal Health Resources and Services Administration. The initiative ties into the mission of USM’s founders, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, who emphasize education, care of the sick, and meeting society’s most pressing needs—and dovetails with USM’s growing emphasis on health care education programs.

Students in the Círculo de Cuidado program can receive scholarships of up to $5,000 a year—in addition to other academic awards they may earn—along with a stipend of up to $5,000 annually to cover USM-related living expenses.

Students must be nursing majors and traditional full-time undergraduate degree-seekers to qualify. The program will be open to both high school students applying to USM as well as students transferring from other colleges or universities. Scholarships will not be available until the student is accepted into USM’s nursing program, but pre-nursing financial assistance will be available as part of the Círculo de Cuidado program.

One of the key goals of the program is to place Círculo de Cuidado graduates with health care jobs in Wyandotte County, which has been identified as a community in need of more health care practitioners, a more diverse health care workforce, and more health care options. To further this goal, Círculo de Cuidado nursing students will be placed in clinical rotations in Wyandotte County, where they can make a difference meeting the needs of Latino and Hispanic patients.

To launch the program, USM will be working closely with Wyandotte County high schools along with area community colleges to help identify and mentor prospective Hispanic and Latino nursing students. Once the students are admitted to the program, they will benefit from special courses, advising opportunities, and support systems.


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